Would you give up a 22-year career in Network TV News to dive headfirst into the cryptocurrency rabbit hole? Elsa Ramon did, and she’s taking you along.
Would you give up a 22-year career in Network TV News to dive headfirst into the cryptocurrency rabbit hole? Elsa Ramon did, and she’s taking you along.
One Journalist’s journey into the world of cryptocurrency.
Adventures in Crypto: With Elsa Ramon
Coming this fall, follow two-time Emmy™ winner Elsa Ramon as she travels the world to get the story of a lifetime. Leaving behind a decades-long career as anchor and reporter for virtually every major network, Elsa is still “working the beat.” This time she’s shaking the confines of Los Angeles to travel the world in search of the best stories about crypto currencies, like Bitcoin, and the radical technology that supports them.
“No one on earth will be untouched by blockchain in the near future” Elsa remarked in a recent interview following her shocking departure from the anchor desk at CBS News in Los Angeles. “Now I’m telling my stories, the way I want to tell them.” The show’s pilot episode, targeted for distribution on Netflix and Amazon Prime, is currently in production in locations on 3 continents. “I’ve only scratched the surface of this crypto thing, but we’re going to take viewers to every corner of the earth to chronicle what is sure to be an epic shift for humanity.”
From the Road
From the Road:
A Blog of a Crypto Vagabond
SWAC Ep. 11 Najah Roberts Cryptoblockchainplug.com and Silicon Hoods
I like listening to people I meet tell stories about the things they distinctly remember from their childhoods: were they rich or poor, did they have to compete with multiple siblings for the last... whatever?
Did they experience any hardship or some monumental event that deeply affected them and set them on a new trajectory in life? I listen for little details from one’s experiences to help me understand where their motivation comes from when they make decisions about careers and life. What are the defining moments we each encounter that makes us look at life through different eyes?
A photographer I worked with at ABC News, who lost his wife in a scuba diving accident, called it, “ being touched by life.”
When I met Najah Roberts of Crypto Blockchain Plug, I knew she had been “touched by life.”
She had enthusiasm and she was optimistic and passionate about the mission to teach people in marginalized communities about how Bitcoin and blockchain technology has the potential to financially lift them up and level the investment playing fields.
Sure, her passion and dedication were impressive, and I believe, just part of her DNA; however, I knew something much deeper had to be driving her willingness to walk away from a career in the traditional finance world and trade it all in to build a company dedicated to teaching people about Bitcoin. I was right.
Najah told me a woman she met was about to lose her kids to the state. This mom wasn’t stable, nor in a good place and her children were about to start the heart wrenching journey into the foster care system. Of all the hardships Najah may have witnessed in her life growing up in Inglewood, California, she knew this one was different; she knew she had to adopt these little children.
The timing was hardly ideal. Najah and her husband had just recently proudly watched their daughter graduate from college. They were empty nesters and life finally seemed so much easier. Safe to say Najah’s husband was stunned when she said she was bringing home four little children. It turns out, the kids were just as much of a blessing to Najah, as she was to them.
In this episode of, So What About Crypto, Najah shares with me how these little ones were the reason she took the leap of faith into Bitcoin and how they all became each other’s angels. Her gamble has paid off in many ways, but the road ahead is still a long one.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Najah Roberts as much as I do. Watch her! She’s got big plans.
Episode 11 – Najah Roberts on cryptoblockchainplug.com
bill deignan, elsa ramon, najah roberts, cryptoblockchainplug.com, community, crypto, exhange, money, inner city, educating, children
Elsa Ramon, Bill Deignan, Najah Roberts
Bill Deignan 0:00
Yeah, we’re live.
Elsa Ramon 0:02
Hi, Bill. Hi everyone. Um, I last year you weren’t able to make this but it was right in my backyard. It was Russell Okung professional football player for the NFL at the time was with the Chargers playing for the chargers. He is a huge advocate of Bitcoin. And he had his very first Bitcoin conference last year called Bitcoin is and you know, he’s such a genuine wonderful person he is really just just as genuine as they come. He’s a compassionate and it’s, I would say, one of the reasons why he is fighting so hard to have people understand Bitcoin and and bring education to the masses. So he held his very first ever conference. For people to come and learn about these things and ask a lot of questions of some very high level people in this industry, ask them what they wanted and just spend a day learning. So I ended up going. And I ended up dragging Dave, my partner with me because he wanted to learn, I actually didn’t have to drag him. He said, I want to go, I want to learn about what you’re doing. So we went and while I was there, I got to meet some awesome people. I met Isaiah Jackson, who wrote Bitcoin and Black America, which we’ve already had on one of our podcasts. It was one of our most popular podcasts. And I also met these incredible ladies from a place called crypto blockchain plug. And they’re here in Southern California. And this group of ladies is, they’re dynamite. I had already read about them and learn a little bit about them before I got to the conference. But I was so excited to meet them in person and they are are also extremely dedicated to teaching everyone, but particularly communities that you know, I guess people would call underserved or not really represented or kind of just ignored. And they want to bring that power of the technology behind Bitcoin blockchain and also Bitcoin to people to better their lives. So when I met them I at the time we were still shooting for Adventures In Crypto, our if you haven’t seen it, we have our website adventuresincrypto.tv . But we were still shooting stories for that. And we had planned on hopefully this year shooting with the ladies over at Crypto Blockchain Plug, but obviously, we all know what happened.
Bill Deignan 2:47
With Coin Telegraph.
Elsa Ramon 2:48
Yes, yes. And we were gonna do that for Coin Telegraph. And anyway, you know, best laid plans, but we started the podcast so we could still connect with people at least In the meantime, and I got the ladies of crypto blockchain plug specifically the Chief Visionary Officer of Crypto Blockchain Plug, Najah Roberts with us today on the podcast.
Najah Roberts 3:12
Hello. Hi. Hello.
Bill Deignan 3:15
Thank you. So I gotta say something we had the Bitcoin King on here, but I read somewhere today that this is the Crypto Queen.
Elsa Ramon 3:30
Right, right. So, I mean, yes, he calls it D Duncan great guy trying to do a lot of bring a lot of improvements to countries in Africa. We had him on the podcast to buy Yes, but yes, now Najah Roberts, I agree with you, Billy is the Bitcoin queen.
Bill Deignan 3:53
I’ll tell you why. Because you know that I’ll admit, I was I’ve been busy. You know, it’s tax day. I’m getting killed. Yeah, I was like, I’m gonna let Elsa handle this when I’m done. I don’t have time to research it but I did watch a video of you on Fox Soul, Donnie and somebody show up there. I’m not sure what it was. Yes, yes. I just watched about two hours ago like okay now I can’t wait to talk to this lady because she knows what she’s talking about.
Elsa Ramon 4:19
Yeah. And if you meeting her in person and everybody involved with crypto blockchain plug, it’s, I would say it’s a labor of love to would you say that?
Najah Roberts 4:33
Appreciate you as absolutely a labor of love, more love than anything else.
Elsa Ramon 4:40
Bill coined a phrase A while back amongst us and he calls it your Bitcoin birthday. I call it that, you know, aha moment. All of us. I feel like many of us had these very different lives before we learned about blockchain and crypto and Bitcoin. Where were you in life? And what were you doing before you had this kind of epiphany to you know, change your complete course of direction in your life.
Najah Roberts 5:14
So actually where I actually started was I was a financial services right before I got involved with cryptocurrency in a full time capacity. So I was writing insurance annuities work with Transamerica, IMG, New York Life several of those companies. And I really was kind of, I don’t want to say disgruntled but I was really understanding that as I said, kneecap to kneecap with families. We were providing a service that was great and is great, but really, truthfully was not going to solve the wealth. Divide the exists within our community. And so I had heard about cryptocurrency I had a couple friends that were mining for cryptocurrency years before. And I got involved with really looking online to find out more about cryptocurrency and I came across an organization that was having a webinar for the weekend to just really introduce individuals to cryptocurrency. And I logged on to that webinar free webinar on Friday. And they were talking about cryptocurrency and how much potential growth could be made within the system and that the guy was very honest and saying, Hey, I don’t know much about this, but we can learn together as a group, you know, there was a subscription that was to come along with it at the end of the weekend. I started on Friday got on again on Saturday. And by Sunday night, I was convinced that I would not be going back to traditional finance. So I told my mother When you continue to do the old money stuff, and I’m going to start on the new money, and I’m going to learn this thing, and I literally did not go back to work that Monday morning, I back down the rabbit hole. And I didn’t look up probably for about two months. And it just intrigued me to know that there was a whole nother world that nobody was talking about around me.
Elsa Ramon 7:27
Isn’t that incredible? I’m sure Najah you this is the first time you have heard our I have heard or bill has heard of people we’ve had in our own podcast See, the exact same thing. They were in some kind of traditional finance role, mortgage, brokerage, you know, some kind of traditional finance and they stumbled across blockchain and Bitcoin and immediately quit completely course I absolutely it just gave me chills because I you know, it was very similar. I had a very similar experience to and I left CBS here in LA and many people we’ve had on our podcast, same thing.
Bill Deignan 8:16
You didn’t quit over the weekend, though.
Elsa Ramon 8:17
No, no, it took a few months. Because I did have to get some ducks in a row. But yes, I was when I had learned about it and had that aha moment. I mentally I was already gone. Right. I was just planning strategy. Yeah,
Najah Roberts 8:32
I think when you’re in financial services, and you’re constantly talking to families about their future and what it really looks like, and you know that a part of what you’re selling them may work a little bit, but not so much the whole when you find something that is promising, and that can take families in a whole totally different direction. You just jump on. So that’s what I had to do. I just felt like it was my responsibility to really be Learn this and bring it to my community in the way that it needs to be brought, where people understand it and are not being scammed and those sorts of things. So I just feel like you know, that’s what my calling is right now is to get the information out and protect those who have traditionally not been protected and brought into wealth. So
Bill Deignan 9:23
Tell me how you do that.
Najah Roberts 9:24
So education is key. So I am focused on really educating our people on what cryptocurrency is the difference between cryptocurrency and blockchain, making sure they understand that cryptocurrency can absolutely exist with it. cryptocurrency cannot exist without blockchain. And blockchain can’t exist without cryptocurrency and so those major just even understanding what a what a crypto is what a blockchain is. Is is a long, hard And I’m gonna say long and hard. It’s a long and hard journey. Because, um, people need to understand the basics. Just knowing that it exists and what it is is like the beginning, but then understanding how they can apply it to their everyday life. How they can invest. I mean, I hear it every day people go How do I even get started? If it’s $10,000 and they don’t even understand Yeah, they can just do
Elsa Ramon 10:28
a full Bitcoin like you ever Yeah.
Najah Roberts 10:31
Yeah, you know, like Bitcoin is those who know a Bitcoin is like yesterday, I have a little book that I drive, and it says, Why buy bitcoin on the side? And the guy had me roll down the window, he yells out, how the heck am I supposed to buy if it’s $10,000 and I say, all the numbers, and I’ll show you how to come and invest $5 $20 or whatever you need. You can buy just a little bit at a time. So it just starts with educating. And so that’s where we are right now educated.
Elsa Ramon 11:02
I try to tell people Najah it’s like well, it’s like $1 you have a full dollar but you can have pieces of $1 you can any a quarter a dime a nickel, like a coin. It seems so overwhelming because the price for one full Bitcoin, you know is above 10,000. But you can buy pieces. Absolutely. And, and put them all together the RSA stacking those pieces until you eventually someday maybe have a full Bitcoin. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, that’s some of those basic things. I think people take for granted that everyday people don’t understand
Najah Roberts 11:41
that right? Absolutely. And most have never even heard of it. So you wouldn’t even imagine how many people just pull over and say what’s the Bitcoin What is that? No, absolutely no.
Bill Deignan 11:57
See done. That blows my mind because I think we’ve been operating in this crypto sphere where everybody in this in this little microcosm or what we think is the whole world. We think everybody knows what Bitcoin everybody’s heard of Bitcoin. Yeah, we’re in a bubble. Now, whereas maybe five years ago, that wasn’t the case. But what you’re saying is no,
Najah Roberts 12:19
no. As early as Monday of this week, which was yesterday, I was putting out our signs that say Bitcoin sold here, and the guy walking goes, What’s a Bitcoin? So that was yesterday, and they’re walking the neighborhood and seeing our signs all the time, but never had never stopped to even inquire what a Bitcoin was what happened to see me outside yesterday, so just went into the fact that it was a digital currency. And he’s like, Oh, my God, wow, can you spend it? So that’s, that’s kind of the world that we live in. So we’re looking forward to really doing some educating From from the top down.
Elsa Ramon 13:02
So you’re you’re doing that you, you have a facility crypto blockchain plug. And when I first learned about it, I stumbled across it online and it’s not just a place for people to go which is it in and of itself great place for people to come and learn but you have a myriad of different programs that you offer people from, you know, programs geared towards kids to adults to everyone. How did you decide that you were going to open a place like this and then how did it develop over time?
Najah Roberts 13:39
So the biggest reason was because as I came up out of the rabbit hole, I didn’t have anybody to talk to. everybody around me didn’t know anything about cryptocurrency or didn’t care, because if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, pretty much. And so I was looking for a place where I could actually go I did find a place over in San Pedro. I know you’ve heard of them. They’re absolutely phenomenal crypto space. I literally was driving probably about 40 miles a day to go and rent a space from them just to be around people that I could talk to about cryptocurrency. And so my husband actually found crypto space because I had been talking about taking my traditional finance office, which we’re in right now and actually converting it to a crypto space. And so when I found crypto space, I saw how phenomenal it was. So we started renovating our office to make it more technological. Technologically attractive. I’ll put it that way when your traditional finances, it can kind of just be a regular office. But when you get into crypto and blockchain it just has to be phenomenal. So we started a renovating and we came up With this space that we everything in here is cryptocurrency or blockchain. So we started room by room, helping it evolve as you can see by some of the pictures our pillows are Bitcoin oriented our pillows, pictures. We have mining machines hanging from the ceiling, like we’ve got all kinds of things to just give people as they take a tour to understand how phenomenal blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Elsa Ramon 15:31
it’s like an immersion program. Yes, you come in and everything around you speaks the language, right? Yes, I guess you gotta jump in at some point and just start learning but you know, where where you’re located is also significant for people who are not from Southern California who don’t know that area, you know, San Pedro and some of the areas around Where your offices are, there are quite a few underserved communities and communities that don’t get the attention that they should and you know a lot of people who just keep their head down and work and live paycheck to paycheck and they don’t have time to learn about what this Bitcoin thing is, right? I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s about putting food on the table, it’s about keeping the roof over the head and the shoes on the feet. I just remember that’s Yeah, that’s why my dad used to say we keep roof over the head, keep food on the table clothes on your backs and you’re in school. That’s, you know, that was the extent of psychology. And absolutely. So where you are, and where your offices are, and what you’re offering is significant. Tell people who aren’t from here why, and, and how you’ve seen people come in and discover you change.
Najah Roberts 16:58
So first of all, we We’re located in Inglewood, California. So it is a area that was traditionally inner city, gang infested sort of a neighborhood, lots of crime and those sorts of things. So it’s Inner City, Los Angeles. I actually was born here in Inglewood and raise just a couple of miles from here in South Central Los Angeles. And so a lot of times our community gets overlooked for all sorts of things. We’ve heard of redlining we’ve we’ve dealt with in the in the last couple months, people beginning to protest because they’re starting to see the inequities. As it relates to what information and opportunities are giving given to inner city communities and this Yeah, no different
Elsa Ramon 17:51
and it’s people don’t understand it’s it’s redlining. It’s not no opportunities are way less opportunity than getting a mortgage. Getting car insurance getting you know, your banking, interest rates. I’m gonna talk about all those things and they you know the the deck is stacked against you one after another after another and you know you’re find yourself in a situation where you you can’t compete.
Najah Roberts 18:19
Right? Absolutely. And so with that we not only talk about cryptocurrency, but because we’re intercity, again, we have to address all of the issues. So I go in talking about cryptocurrency, but because of where we’re located, people need to understand how money works. And so we’ve never been taught about money and how money works, how the interest rates absolutely are against us. How if we put in a certain zip code for insurance policies, how much higher they are, and so we do all of this educating to just bring people up to where we are today. In reference to cryptocurrency, and why there is a need to have cryptocurrency in this specific community, not just this community but across the US. But it again it all boils back down to education. So here we are two blocks from a billion dollar stadium that was just built we’re actually we can see the stadium from our back window
Elsa Ramon 19:24
you can that’s talking about so
Najah Roberts 19:26
fai stadium the new SoFi stadium is right here. And there’s so much money coming into this community. And they’re actually the Clippers arena is going to be here and we oftentimes and watch the the money come in and out of our communities without us ever taking part. And so we are going to make sure our ensure that those individuals who want to learn are able to take advantage of utilize you know, so phi is in the crypto I don’t know if you guys know that. So crypto and so phi are going to be working with crypto blockchain club to really educate this community as well. So we’ve got some things coming along with
Elsa Ramon 20:12
that, wait a minute, you’re you’re gonna partner with the people that SoFi?
Najah Roberts 20:16
absolutely they have a crypto division, and we have been communicating with them. They are a exchange, they do have an exchange department as well. I didn’t even realize how incredible so phi was in reference to the financial industry until I was like, wait a minute, what is so far and then the stadium, it just all plays a part. So we’re looking forward to working with so far we’re looking forward to working with the Clippers, because the Clippers organization has already shown interest in our crypto kids camp. So what we’re going to do is work hand in hand to utilize the resources they have to give back to the community. To make sure that education is met on all fronts as far as finances are concerned,
Elsa Ramon 21:06
that’s incredible. You just gave us the next two podcasts. I need to talk to the people with the Clippers who my boyfriend absolutely loves. He’s been a lifelong clippers fan. And the people that so fi because yes, really truly it’s revolutionary. It’s it’s that bridging of professional sports NFL like Russell okung has been working on you know, the NBA also there are players in the NBA who are obviously advocating for this and NHL and so on. So absolutely
Bill Deignan 21:45
Elsa Ramon 21:48
talk to you more about that.
Bill Deignan 21:50
The first time the other night and I’m looking at this picture on online and to me, I think that’s where the aliens are gonna land because it’s got to look look like a big map pin from space. So come down here.
Najah Roberts 22:04
Yeah, it is.
Bill Deignan 22:06
So I want to know, Najah. You mentioned like somebody walking down the street and they’re saying, Well, you know, what’s Bitcoin? Well, can you tell us a story about how that may have been the start of a journey for someone that you’ve encountered and then fast forward six months where they’ve sort of gone through your program or you know, you’ve been able to mentor them?
Elsa Ramon 22:29
So on your mind,
Najah Roberts 22:31
I’m absolutely there are several people that stick out in our mind. So just for one, so you know, we have a crypto virgins program. Anybody can find that the crypto virgin be a partner with edge wallet, and we give them or show them how to put together edge wallet. We then give them cryptocurrency so they can see how volatile it is understanding exactly what it is but In our crypto virgins program, there’s one young lady. I don’t know if we can say name. So she’s an older lady. She’s over 65 she’s actually over 70 and she came in right around the time one, Bitcoin was about $4200 and she invested and purchased herself one bitcoin. So she’s watched that Bitcoin go down to 3000. And she goes to five. And then she saw just recently go over 12 and back down to 10. And what I’ve taught in my classes was, this is a long haul, and not, this is not a sprint. This is a marathon. And I want everybody that goes through our program to understand it’s okay to look at it, but we’re not going to panic when it falls or goes, you know, way over. We’re gonna just wait Get this thing out because I firmly believe that we are going to the moon as we say in crypto. So, because we’re here to help people zip up their spacesuits, and not go to the moon all at once before they did it all together. She stands out the most because she’s very calm. She’s talked to other individuals about her cryptocurrency talking about her journey in the volatility and very excited about what Bitcoin is going to do. But she was an entrepreneur and she doesn’t have a 401k or anything like that set up. And so for her to just purchase a little bit of cryptocurrency, so she’s she’s diversifying herself, which is something else we teach, but she has some Bitcoin. She has some other alt coins, but I also like the fact that my past students call me before they get involved with any other crypto type schemes. And I’ll say it that way because a lot of them are schemes and scams.
Elsa Ramon 25:01
Yeah understand that wherever there’s money there’s gonna be a scam or farmers market in you know the cryptocurrency market you know yep yes
Elsa Ramon 25:24
but but yes you know and sometimes people you know unfairly equate the schemes with Bitcoin and yes not a Bitcoin scam it’s a financial scam some money scam and they’re gonna get the money anyway they can dollars euros Bitcoin whatever
Najah Roberts 25:41
so I always tell people if you have to invest in Bitcoin and then give your Bitcoin to somebody else for them to give you their coin, that is not what you need to be doing so I’m I really take pride in making sure that the community can call here can actually Ask us about these different companies so that we can make sure that we help them. Not necessarily all the time. Do we know what these these companies are doing. But just like anything, as you said, it’s not just because scams happen in Bitcoin. They happen everywhere. But we want to make sure that nobody bumped their heads the way that we did on different exchanges that may disappear, and things of that sort. So we pride ourselves in making sure we keep up to date with our crypto virgins, and we’re here to make sure that they are safe and sound.
Bill Deignan 26:35
Yeah, it seems the older they are, the more they’re a virgin.
Najah Roberts 26:38
Bill Deignan 26:40
All right. So what really turned me on you’re learning a little bit about you today, and it goes kind of hand in hand with a podcast we’ll be releasing here in the next couple of days. We interviewed a gentleman who made a STEM based or a STEM certified card game to teach about Bitcoin.
Elsa Ramon 27:01
blockchain Yeah, just
Bill Deignan 27:03
massive laundry list of things. You’re teaching children.
Elsa Ramon 27:07
You got a curriculum.
Bill Deignan 27:08
Yeah. About that Kids Krypto Camp.
Najah Roberts 27:11
Yes. So our Krypto Kids camp and I’m super happy to say that we apply for a 501c3, which we needed to deal with the NFL and the NBA. We were granted that after a year of toiling with the government, but we had to get that in place because you know, everybody’s not crypto friendly right now. Also, we needed that. So we finally got a 501c3 last week. And with that we actually are even before the stadium was here, we were focusing on showing inner city children, that you may not be the LeBron James or the Michael Jordan, but you need something to fall back on and technology is the way so with that. We came up with Krypto Kids camp goes beast mode on breaks. So during Easter Spring, summer breaks we teach children about blockchain technology. That’s what the B stands for. And each one of those are letters and bees most stand for something. So we’ll go really quick blockchain evolution of money, which is crypto, then we have artificial intelligence, science, technology, cybersecurity, we also do and then in the mode, you have mining or machine learning. We also have online gaming, decentralization, and he was engineering, so robotics and those sorts of things. So we make sure that kids get a little taste of all things technology. So we can pick out of those things which one of the fields that children would like to go into because a lot of times the parents say, Hey, why don’t want to just get my kid in a coding class because they may not like coding, but they might like cybersecurity, which is where we build out the drones and we actually fly the drone. Over at the, the form over there, which the Clippers just purchased. So we, we fly over in their parking lot and teach the kids about cybersecurity. So we do all of those things. So by the time they’re the end of their week comes at our camp, they’ve had a taste of each and everything which is coding as well making video games. We do all these fun things so that kids can kind of hone in on what they’re most interested in.
Bill Deignan 29:29
And how many kids in a camp
Najah Roberts 29:31
we typically have between 25 and 50 students because the space here at crypto blockchain plug but we just got in a partnership with Pepperdine University, so we will have more space to host more children after COVID is up and as soon as the Clippers arena is built, they’re going to also give us some space over at the Clippers arena. They have a community center that we’re talking to them about utilizing for cryptokeys camp. And so again, with technology, what our plans are, is to talk to each one of the NBA NFL teams, because most of their players come from inner city so that we can give back to the cities across the US where they come from. So they give children opportunities to do something other than just play pack basketball, and football because they have to get another trade or something under their belt. Well,
Elsa Ramon 30:33
right there are many ways to lift yourself up and and get out of situations that were, you know, those of us who come from communities like that, or sometimes seems like they’re destined to be caught in the cycle. Yes, just how we’ve been living, that’s how we’ve been doing it, and that’s gonna be done and you know, and they just didn’t seem like there were other options. So that’s incredible. I so we need that. A whole kid’s camp and all of those categories for an adult camp.
Najah Roberts 31:04
Absolutely. We’re looking at that too, with Peppardine blockchain and Pepperdine. They have. We’re looking at doing some an extension of our program. So we’re working with them as well to help create something for those who want to play in the crypto land.
Bill Deignan 31:21
What’s the Wine and Women thing?
Najah Roberts 31:23
Oh, yes. So, yes, so we have Wine, Women and Crypto. So we have women come together. Once a month on a Friday we we have hors d’oeuvres and we drink wine. And we talk about finances again, it’s just really understanding money. Women don’t really understand. For the most part, we understand money, but we really don’t understand how money works, and how it will affect us. And we really talk about everyday statistics and things that women never even think about, about their own finances and some of those things and so we just, we have an outlet. for women to come and be able to talk about things that they wouldn’t normally share if there’s handsome men in the room.
Elsa Ramon 32:10
Going back to Pepperdine, that’s good to know that you’ve teamed up with them because I know I’ve been following what they’re doing and I know they’ve added a section in there I think their business school about cryptocurrency and blockchain and I’ve actually been trying to get one of the professors who’s very vocal about it. Tom Lombardi I’ve been trying to get him to come onto the podcast. Have you worked with him at all over there?
Najah Roberts 32:36
I have not. I work over there with Lena. But what I will do is I’ll get you in contact with
Elsa Ramon 32:42
what we Yeah, we could talk about all that after the podcast because I got a couple of contacts I gotta get okay. So, you know, you’re definitely crushing it getting all of these partnerships with the clippers and so phi and Pepperdine and that’s terrific. And you know, you don’t have the title of Chief Visionary Officer for nothing. But there’s a bigger implication here of how this is going to affect the community your efforts in getting all of these partnerships. And if I think I could safely say that it is going to empower people in the surrounding communities a lot earlier and a lot faster than was ever possible before.
Najah Roberts 33:31
Absolutely. And I think I say it that collaboration is a new business model. And for me, I think for our community because we’re so entrenched in sports, again, subliminally we as a community have always pushed for basketball and football. And so I think bringing those types of companies into a collaboration with crypto blockchain It brings some validity to what we’re doing not to say that we’re not valid anyway. But because our community needs to actually identify with something that they identify with. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of repeating itself. Those are some of the things you know, our parents, unfortunately, they show up for basketball games and football games before they show up for parent teacher conferences. So if we have to penetrate the football in the basketball community in order to bring awareness to where they need to be putting emphasis for their children, I think there’s going to be absolutely huge because it’s going to start with them trying to educate their children. But then we are praying that there’ll be some spillover for the parents as well to take an initiative to learn how to do something different that’s not in the service industry. And so all of it kind of ties together. It doesn’t seem like it does, but the collaborations are gonna bring eyes and ears to where it’s needed the most in our community. You see
Elsa Ramon 35:09
yourself growing to the point where you become a national program crypto blockchain plug. I kind of feel like your hours in Southern California. You’re our little diamond and you know, you’re our secret weapon. But I can see this actually this model growing across the country. Have you thought of that?
Najah Roberts 35:34
Absolutely. Well, it is absolutely my vision that we have a Crypto Blockchain Plug in every inner city across the US where people can come in and people can bring their families and begin to educate themselves. And you know, Bitcoin is never going to be out of reach, because they can always get some Satoshis as we stated earlier, and just really make sure people start with the basics. Then begin to understand and get involved in communities within crypto that can nurture them and bring, you know some of these projects to the forefront and they can absolutely cat up. They can actually absolutely get themselves involved and benefit in this echo system. So yes, across the US is where we’re going.
Elsa Ramon 36:26
That’s outstanding. I don’t I don’t know if we have, he might have lost a signal. Oh, you’re here. Oh, okay.
Bill Deignan 36:32
Just listening intently.
Elsa Ramon 36:34
Um, so, okay, so Najah from the time that we all met at Russell okung, Bitcoin his conference, to now are you blown away by the amount of growth that you’ve seen and the way you have physically been able to see and be present for the changes in people’s lives around You?
Najah Roberts 37:01
Um, yes. So, as I stated before, it’s a challenge, because we’ve got to make sure that we actually understand the community’s needs. So again, we jumped into this thing, full force thinking, open arms, this is gonna be incredible, but then nobody knows what the heck you’re talking about. And so over the last year, we’ve really focused on getting the right companies to collaborate with so that we have the right tools to be able to offer the community in a streamlined way. So that’s why we’ve meticulously picked different wallets, different cryptocurrency companies up and coming technology. We’re looking to give our community free Wi Fi through the ecosystem, the blockchain cryptocurrency ecosystem. I don’t want to name any companies but we’re working closely To be able to put satellites on this roof, mesh nets so we can give out internet and so many other things. And so we want to make sure Oh, go ahead.
Elsa Ramon 38:11
No, I was gonna say I’m sorry to interrupt but which people may take for granted right now, but I think that Coronavirus really exposed the disparities, disparities in the type of technology people are able to own laptops, you know, those things are super expensive, having internet or not, and there are full communities that just don’t have internet period because they’re not served. I know communities in Detroit,
Elsa Ramon 38:38
Rely on a mesh net because they just didn’t get the service internet wired and routed throughout the community. I mean, that’s just it’s maddening and it’s insanity. But people don’t realize that this is kind of a common occurrence in some of the communities and our own country.
Najah Roberts 38:58
Absolutely. And so when I hear people Talking about and I don’t have anything against people doing so much for other third world countries. I’m saying, hey, we’ve got some third world communities right here in the United States that we need to be affecting changing. There’s several communities I can name that, that where there is no internet, even if they have internet, the speed is just horrific, what they can’t even really communicate. And believe it or not, the internet is more expensive, where the internet is barely moving than it is for you to get 400 Meg’s up in 400. Meg’s down. So it’s really sickening. So I think that cryptocurrency some of these companies that are up and coming are going to be able to solve a problem, which we know that is what we are here in the crypto ecosystem where we’re problem solvers. We’re problem solving. So we’re excited about that. So
Elsa Ramon 39:58
I’ll make it look like Oh, go ahead, Bill.
Bill Deignan 40:02
So you said something that sparked an idea in my mind or a thought about like third world countries in, you know, especially in crypto people tend to look at Africa as this great, you know, new pioneer where it’s going to be that’s where all the crypto adoption is going to happen because of the need for currency and stable currency and all that. But it seems as if, based on what you said they could just look right in our inner cities and see that opportunity for mass adoption just as easily. Is that true?
Najah Roberts 40:39
Hmm. I will kind of say I would say no. Because here we have been conditioned that our government is going to our government rules, I’ll put it that way. And so whatever they say kind of goes and so on. Again, they kind of feel as if it’s not broken, they don’t need to fix it over in Africa, they already know it’s broken, and it needs to be fixed. And so we’ve got to show people here in the United States that, that there is a need for what we’re trying to do as far as mass adoption is concerned. And so while I do and Africans, again, are looking for some answers to corrupt government, because they know that it’s corrupt, here, we know that it’s corrupt, but we kind of don’t think we can do anything to change it. And we just kind of go with the flow. And we can get on a whole nother conversation about the mindset, the indoctrination of the mindset that has happened in our community, because a lot of it is about, you know, give me give me give me because there you know, that’s just kind of being what it is, and I hate to say it like that but we We need to, we need to take some steps, not to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps because we need that opportunity. But we need to actually absolutely grab a hold of some new things and new technology, and figure our way out of this maze, because it has been amazed that’s been put in place. And we just have to put our minds together and work for one common goal. And that’s to really get our community economically sound because we can do a whole lot of talk in March in some of these things. And it all comes back to economics. And cryptocurrency and blockchain will solve some of those some of those things sooner than later. But we’ve got a we’ve got to embrace it as a community.
Bill Deignan 42:51
Do you balance it? I mean, like you said, they don’t have a perception that it’s broke. So to what degree do you have To balance trying to help them understand that it is broken. And or do you spend more time focusing on the merits of a cryptocurrency or blockchain?
Najah Roberts 43:11
Um, I think for the most part, it would be 5050. I’m trying to get the community to understand the merit of it, but also showing them again with education, how the system is broken. But unfortunately COVID and and unfortunate and fortunate. I believe that in the next several months to follow, we’re going to see just how the monetary system is going to be derailed. And I think people in our community are going to be looking for a way to get out Finally, of the mess that they put in, that we’ve not put ourselves in. I won’t say that at all. been allowed to kind of wallow in for so many years. And so I think the pulse COVID is going to really wake people up, they’re going to be looking for something to attach themselves to. And the last six to eight months, we really focused on getting things in place. So as they come, we have a streamlined way to kind of pull people up and get them going and move into the next level.
Bill Deignan 44:20
What’s like, on ramp for them? You know, I think we have, I’ve seen varying levels of trust in different technologies around the world and all kinds of cultures, and even within communities here, like what would be your thought on? You know, not everyone’s going to be comfortable just trying to get online join Coinbase right, are they going to be more inclined to want to go to a Bitcoin ATM, or come in your shop and try to do some exchanges? I mean, what do you foresee sort of happening because it will be a rapid sort of on ramp, you know, onboarding,
Najah Roberts 44:57
right. So people are Going to search the internet first. So what our team is doing is putting together some very basic videos, I know that there are videos all over the place all online, we’re really putting together a step by step process, we’re taking a look at customer experience. We’re taking a look at all the different things that we need to have in place to say, hey, if you if you want to get into cryptocurrency, wherever you are in the world, you can actually start with and trust us as crypto blockchain plus not only just an exchange, but an educational platform and a group of individuals that you can call and has cut have real customer service, real people with real solutions. And so that’s what we’ve been doing over the past several months and I mean having really intense breakdowns as it relates to customer experience, because a coin base and I’m not going across base is very hard to get customer service. I’ll just say that
Elsa Ramon 46:04
for me, I know you’re not filling out Coinbase it’s Yeah, it’s a very it’s almost like Fort Knox in a way. Yes. With a lot of the exchanges because of the security issues. I understand that, you know, when, when people hear about Bitcoin being stolen, it’s not because Bitcoin was vulnerable on its blockchain. It’s because the exchanges that they were on were vulnerable with the security and so I, I get why they are like fortresses, right at the same time as a human being who wants help, who, from somebody who has some of their money in their possession. It’s frustrating to try to get some help and that is the worst turnoff for anyone to be able to throw their hands up and say, forget this. I can’t talk to anybody that got my money. I don’t know how you know, I need Help. So I can see that as being discouraging,
Najah Roberts 47:03
right. And so using crypto blockchain plug, I’ll put that out there as an exchange because we are able to do our over the counter exchange. People don’t experience any of that they either however they get the funds to us we’re able to actually transact after they KYC and it becomes very smooth. We show them how to store it in a cold wallet or you know, they keep it on what we call a warm wallet which is their cell phone. And so those are the those are the things that we’re here to do is just help the customer experience in cryptocurrency become as easy as possible from start to finish.
Elsa Ramon 47:45
And by the way, those terms people will learn as they learn about Bitcoin a blockchain KYC know your customer? Yes. When you register for an exchange, you know, they need your information. Yeah, yes, ID or you know, social carry all that kind of stuff because the up and up? Yes. Yeah. And the differences between cold wallets, warm wallets, that type of thing. These are all little terms. I know it’s it’s overwhelming, but I gotta tell you nyjah you’ve done so much in a short amount of time in such a short amount of time since I met you. With the partnerships and expanding your education, you make it look really easy, but I know it hasn’t been your mother. Yeah. And you were just telling us recently you’ve you’ve got a child who graduated from college, right? Is that correct? Yes. Child off out into the world graduated from college. And and now you’re building this empire and raising little ones all over again. How did this
Najah Roberts 48:51
so my phenomenal chief operations officer has been with me for a very long time. She was with me in the as we call it the old money. And in that old money company, I actually hired welfare to work clients and one of our welfare to work clients actually had some hard times. And she left for her children because she was unable to care for them. And we went and got them. And I say we because it’s been a journey, but my husband and I, Angela, she’s been with us since it happened. And so we thought we’d have in 30 to 60 days. And we were going on for years. And we have a five year old six year old seven and nine. And so we already had our own six children that are all grown. And so now this makes tin. Oh, so we have an incredibly busy house.
Bill Deignan 49:47
And one of those was literally a baby at the time we
Najah Roberts 49:50
Yes, we got him when he was one about to turn two. And so and actually they were a pivotal part of us. My looking into cryptocurrency because I actually was searching for a children’s program to teach them about money and I found millionaire, a millionaires program. And that’s how I actually happened upon this crypto talk about earlier. But anyways, we have them we’re teaching them about saving, investing and producing. And we definitely want them to change the trajectory of their lives from what they had come up in in such a short time. Inner City, we’re consumers. And so this is really, really huge. They’re learning about cryptocurrency and blockchain and turning themselves from consumers to producers and savers. And when we say producing that is producing their own businesses, we’re always having them thinking about bigger and better things. So it’s been an incredible, incredible journey.
Elsa Ramon 51:00
Yeah, again, there’s another story that gave me chills because you took them in. I mean, gosh, I can’t imagine many people would do that. And because you did that you were shown this incredible light. You guys are like each other’s angels.
Najah Roberts 51:15
Elsa Ramon 51:18
need us. Yes. Your husband and Gina. Man. Those are some incredible people you have in your life, to come to your husband and say, guess what? We’re having a baby. Baby for babies. I know our kids are all grown but
Najah Roberts 51:37
yeah, and they they came in. They came in two days The house was full four kids. Wow. Wow.
Bill Deignan 51:45
And it’s not like you’re just doing one thing you’ve got. I’m looking at your website, and you’ve got literally 12 like categories of services. Now, real quick, and I want you to I want to talk about one of them in particular educational classes. Ryan, sell crypto 3% crypto co working venue rental Bitcoin buyers are us I think that’s your your webshop right?
Najah Roberts 52:07
Yeah, that’s awesome. We actually have a physical store here by the way,
Bill Deignan 52:10
and yet yet another thing, crypto kids camp which we talked about crypto coaching blockchain, salting Bitcoin BTM machines, cannabis melanated focus group, which is somebody that’s just mind blowing right there that you you’re pulling that in as well. But you’ve got this term you use called silicon hoods. And you know, because I saw you talking about that on TV about how forget Silicon Valley. We’re creating a silicon silicon. So talk about that firm. So
Najah Roberts 52:44
you’ve got your Silicon Valley, you’ve got silicon beach. So we’re gonna create silicon hoods where the community again inner city across the US can have these crypto blockchain books where people can come for learning coding. And it’s going to be from children to adults just like here, we’re able to actually have a location that we can take pride. And people have no idea that this gym is here we’ve renovated and it looks like we’re in Beverly Hills. But we’re right here in our city. And we want to put this type of a place where people can say pride in all across the US where they can literally just come learn, feel proud about it, bring other people do referrals and those sorts of things. So we’re building that and so we’re partnering with other tech companies to just come in and host their, their technology courses and those sorts of things here so that we have an inner city because this is actually a technology desert. I don’t know how many times I say you know, I go all over and speak and most of the time when I see somebody that African American, they really are. I don’t care if they’re 25 or 70 years old, male or female, skinny or fat. They’re, they’re technically not technically, they’re always a security guard. And I am so frustrated with the fact that everywhere I go and speak, we’re only the security guards and it just kind of irks at me that it irks my soul that we don’t have a place in our community where we can learn about the the real things that happen. Yeah, you have a cell phone, but how does it work? How does the apps work? Who’s going to be able to program those things and if we don’t get technology savvy in our neighborhoods, we are going to forever be underclass. So that is a major mission of mine to get us out of this technology desert that we
Elsa Ramon 54:55
that you just summed it up perfectly for me. I see What you see and which is really why I just couldn’t wait to talk to you because I knew you were going to drop some serious knowledge today for people to consider and maybe make a change in their lives and I, I hope that we can always have access to you at at throughout different periods to see how things are going and growing and watch people in the community for ourselves and grow and learn and become business owners of their own and, you know, extend what you’ve done and what you’ve started.
Najah Roberts 55:36
Absolutely. love you and we appreciate you and you too, sir.
Bill Deignan 55:42
We’ve had you on our scopes to do a segment on our show. And that was going to be our first collaboration with cointelegraph. I hope you guys are listening at quinto rocking that.
Elsa Ramon 55:55
Bill Deignan 55:56
Hey, so I’m in Atlanta. I’m I’m ready to bring camera and jump on a plane. I’m not scared. Let’s go do it.
Elsa Ramon 56:05
Absolutely. We Yeah, we could talk about that more after the show. But yeah, I mean, it’s always we pitched you guys to coin telegraph. And obviously we wanted you first. But yeah, they
Bill Deignan 56:19
liked that idea for
Najah Roberts 56:20
a day. We, we appreciate you and all that you do and all that you’ve done for us thus far, so we appreciate you.
Elsa Ramon 56:29
Well, we appreciate you. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time today. especially knowing what your life is like, all the kids are downstairs. I understand. Yeah, I’m taking up all the bandwidth because they’re in school. Yeah. I’m just happy that we had your signal the whole time.
Najah Roberts 56:46
I have on kindergartener headphones, right.
Elsa Ramon 56:52
The five year olds headphones, right? Yeah, yeah, everybody
Bill Deignan 56:55
go to crypto blockchain plug.com
Najah Roberts 56:59
Absolutely. Luna. Absolutely.
Elsa Ramon 57:02
Pleasure, Gina, thank you for helping us set up. I know she’s probably somewhere in the background. She’s probably
Najah Roberts 57:10
she could she can hear everything. She’s awesome. She’s omnipotent. Yes, she’s a god. I could put
Bill Deignan 57:17
her on screen right now, but I’m afraid she might not.
Elsa Ramon 57:20
Might be mad.
Bill Deignan 57:22
But I’m not going to do.
Elsa Ramon 57:25
All right now shall we’ll let you go and continue to build and check in with you off and,
Najah Roberts 57:32
again, thank you so much. Thank you. Have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
YouTube Link of Episode : https://youtu.be/jE-O2xA7GYM
Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts Najah Roberts
October 19, 2020
SWAC Ep. 11 Najah Roberts Cryptoblockchainplug.com and Silicon Hoods I like listening to people I meet tell stories about the things they distinctly remember from their childhoods: were they rich or poor, did they have to compete with multiple siblings for the last… whatever? Did they experience any hardship or some monumental event that deeply affected them and set them on a new trajectory in life? I listen for little details from one’s experiences to …Read More
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